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Label : Top Attraction

Tags : Museum

Timings : 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM

Time Required : 1 - 2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Gandhi Ashram

Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad Overview

Once the residence of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba, Sabarmati Ashram is the site where Gandhiji started the famous Dandi March from. Situated in the 5km north of Ahmedabad's centre, it is located on the tranquil and serene stretch of Sabarmati River. Also referred to as the 'Gandhi Ashram', 'Mahatma Gandhi Ashram' and most importantly, 'Satyagraha Ashram', it is believed that Mahatma Gandhi chose this site for it is located between a prison and a cemetery and a Satyagrahi is likely to end up in one of these.

In gratitude of the substantial impact Dandi march had on the Indian independence movement, the Indian government has recognised the Sabarmati Ashram as a national monument. The Mahatma Gandhi Ashram has a number of other establishments within its bounds. The most famous among them is the museum 'Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya' which has some of Gandhi's personal letters and photographs on display.

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Ashram Darshan - Important Structures in the Gandhi Ashram

Sabarmati Ashram has a number of other important structures located in its confines. Some of these are:-

Magan Niwas: 
The Magan Niwas is named after Mahatma Gandhi's nephew, whom he said to be the spirit of the Ashram. He was the true follower of Gandhi and his teaching from the very beginning and was responsible for many improvements in and around the Sabarmati Ashram. He was an efficient manager and architect and introduced many upgrades in the spinning wheel which ultimately led to the birth of Khadi.

Hriday Kunj: 
This was the residence of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi in the Sabarmati Ashram from 1917 to 1930. Inside, there are six rooms including Gandhiji’s; Kasturba’s; Guest Room, Kitchen, Store room and Secretariat, and was the venue for Gandhiji's meetings with many national and international dignitaries. Replicas of some of his original personal artefacts are still exhibited here.

Gandhi Memorial Museum: Perhaps the most famous structure in the Sabarmati Ashram, the Gandhi Museum has many important exhibits relating to his life. It was inaugurated on 10 May 1963 by India's first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and has three galleries namely Gandhi in Ahmedabad Gallery, Painting Gallery and My Life is My Message Gallery. The Sabarmati Ashram Library is also situated here. 

Vinoba Mira Kutir: 
This building was the residence of Vinobha Bhave when he stayed at the Sabarmati Ashram from 1918 to 1921. Madeleine Slade, a British Admiral’s daughter, was deeply influenced by Gandhi’s ideology and decided to serve the Gandhi Ashram in her own capacity. She was known as Mira around the Sabarmati Ashram and stayed here from 1925 to 1933, helping in the Ashram activities.

Udyog Mandir: 
A symbol of self-reliance, the Udyog Mandir was founded in 1918 during the historic strike of mill workers in Ahmedabad. It was instrumental in spreading the message of 'Swaraj through Khadi' in the country. 

Somnath Chhatralaya: 
Somnath Chhatralaya was the community living quarters where the students of the Ashram school, participants of Swadeshi and Constructive Work Training Programmes stayed here and observed Ashram rules.

Upasana Mandir: 
This was a small site where Gandhiji held prayer services for everyone in the Sabarmati Ashram during the morning and evening hours. Gandhiji also delivered sermons based on the Bhagavad Gita at the Upasana Mandir.

Sabarmati Ashram Tour

If you wish to dig deeper into the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, understand what led to his migration from South Africa to India and the subsequent events that followed, a walking tour of Sabarmati Ashram will be a great start.

There are many private tour groups that organise walking tours for groups and individuals.
How to Book: You can contact your preferred tour agency and book your slot accordingly (8:30-6:30 pm). Cost of the ticket and guide’s fee is included in the package.

Duration: It generally takes 2-4 hours and some agencies might offer a pick-up and drop option from your hotel.

Cost: It will cost anywhere between INR 2000 to 3000 INR

Gandhi Memorial Museum

Gandhi in Ahmedabad Gallery: After Mahatama Gandhi returned from his eventful time in South Africa, he stayed at Ahmedabad for 15 years. During this time he was involved in a number of grassroots initiative and demonstrations, including the Swadeshi movement and the iconic Dandi March. This exhibition details the years he spent in the city through 50 exquisite hand-drawn panels in a question-and-answer format, to help visitors understand his life and message.

My Life is My Message Gallery: This biographical gallery traces the life of the Father of the Nation right from his birth in Porbandar, his childhood and schooling, his time in London, the South African freedom movement, subsequent years in India, and his assassination. The collection of 250 photographs divided between 7 exhibits allows visitors to engage in unique ways with Gandhi and his thoughts – one can feel the presence of greatness and nobility in every message of the noble soul.  

Painting Gallery: This beautiful gallery holds 8 true-to-life paintings of Gandhi engaged in various day-to-day activities like marching, meditating, and spinning fabric. Holding some of the most iconic images of the Mahatma, these artworks were done by Chandulal Shah and Hiralal Khatri. Another unique masterpiece done by Rajkishore Kapoor depicts Gandhi in action, made exclusively with groundnut and peanut shells!  

Archives and Library: The archives holds a treasure trove of information about Gandhi’s life and message. It aims to preserve his writings and speeches for posterity and is meticulously organized. The archives hold a whopping 34,000 letters to and from the Mahatma, with additional copies available for purchase. Patrons can also have a look at more than six thousand photographs, 100 videos, 210 films, and 1300 manuscripts related to Gandhi. Eulogiums and felicitations received by the great leader, his personal diary and his address book are present here. Additionally, more than 50,000 rare books about the Indian Independence Movement are kept for reference.

History of the Ashram: Dandi March

Upon his return from South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi built his very first ashram at the Kocharab Bungalow on 25 May 1915. Known as the Satyagraha Ashram at that time, Gandhi wanted it to be the centre of activities such as farming and animal husbandry. With the massive increase in the activities and following at the then Gandhi Ashram, the land at Kocharab became insufficient. As a result of this, Mahatma Gandhi moved the Ashram to a piece of open land along the banks of the River Sabarmati on 17 June 1917. The shift was also inspired by Gandhi's plans of experimenting in the fields of farming, animal husbandry, cow breeding, Khadi and related activities.

The Gandhi Ashram, also known as 'Harijan Ashram' served as Mahatma Gandhi's residence from 1917 to 1930, after which it became one of the epicentres of Indian Freedom Struggle. Activities such tertiary school education which focused heavily on manual labour, agriculture and literacy also continued in the Gandhi Ashram premises parallelly.

Mahatma Gandhi launched the famous Dandi march on 12th March 1930, 241 miles from this Ashram. It was in protest of the British Salt Law which taxed Indian salt in order to promote the sale of British salt. On 22nd July 1933, Gandhi forfeited the Ashram to support the freedom fighters. The local citizens later decided to preserve this Ashram. Over the years, the Ashram became home to the ideology that set India free.

Ashram Activities

The Sabarmati Ashram is actively involved with the community. In addition to catering to its visitors, the Ashram is also responsible for collecting and archiving important historical documents, microfilming, lamination and preservation of negatives, publication of 'Mahadevbhani Diary' which is an account of India's freedom struggle, study and research in Gandhian school of thought and keeping direct contact with the youth of the country. Walking tours through the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram are conducted regularly as well.

Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala

The Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala is the country's premier centre engaged in advanced genetic improvement and enhancing the reproductive quality of farm animals. It was founded in 1915 by Mahatma Gandhi with the aim of providing better cattle to the farmers and the poor. Currently, the management of the Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust is under the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Dairy Services which is a subsidiary of NDDB. The trust is responsible for the production of high-quality cattle semen, embryos, fodder and fodder seed.

How to reach Sabarmati Ashram

Since Sabarmati ashram is a major tourist spot, many road transport buses of Gujarat tourism run to the ashram. Bus, taxi or autorickshaw can be taken to reach the ashram as well.
  • Air: From Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International airport, the ashram is situated at a distance of 7.9 km. Bus and taxis are available outside the airport.

  • Rail: From Ahmedabad junction, Sabarmati ashram is about 6.9 kilometers away. Bus, taxi or autorickshaw can be taken to reach the ashram from the station.

  • Road: Since Sabarmati ashram is a major tourist spot, many road transport buses of Gujarat tourism run to the ashram.

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